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News in Focus: The growing cost of the Qatar World Cup

It’s been over $100 billion in the making, but will the real cost smear the tournament for years to come?

The 2022 World Cup is finally underway, with fans arriving in Qatar to watch the opening games of the tournament.

Qatar was confirmed as the host back in 2010, and since then billions have been spent constructing the project.

To date:

  • $8-10 billion has been spent constructing 8 football stadiums
  • 84,000 tonnes of steel have been used
  • 79% of construction waste avoided landfill

Other major infrastructure includes:

  • Hotels
  • Golf Courses
  • Private islands
  • Apartments
  • A 76km stretch of train line with 37 stations
  • All at a cost $96 billion

There have also been innovative ways to beat the heat.

Targeted cooling technology has been installed in the stadiums to keep a steady flow of cool air across the stands and pitch. Keeping cool is key during matches, and will reduce the risk of players overheating in the 24-degree heat. Qatar made the commitment to keep the tournament cool when they put in their World Cup bid.


Over the past decade, doubts whether Qatar was the right choice to hold the World Cup have been raised. And in recent years, Qatar has been accused of paying at least $880 million in bribes to Fifa to host the event.

As well as this, during the week leading up to the opening ceremony, ‘fake fans’ were reportedly taking part in staged videos to build up hype in Doha.

But it’s human rights and the treatment of foreign labour that has caused the biggest stir. Qatar is a small country of less than 3 million people, so most of its infrastructure is built by tradespeople from other countries.

Since 2010, working conditions are famously poor with pay rates £1 a day and long shifts in extreme dust and heat. Accommodation is also well below basic standards. As a result, at least 6,500 tradespeople have died during the construction of the World Cup.

Qatar has responded by claiming conditions have improved. One step has been to remove a system called ‘kafala’, which meant migrant workers had to seek permission from their employer to change jobs. This is a move in the right direction, but exploitation of tradespeople continues and deaths on site are underreported.

Calls to boycott the event have been led by countries, well-known figures, and brands.

Tradesman Talk

Will you be supporting the World Cup this year, or following calls to boycott the event?

Was it right to allow Qatar to host the tournament? If not, which country should have hosted this year’s event?

Should tradespeople, who worked on the project, be compensated for being forced to work in extreme conditions?

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Until next time, make sure it’s Tradesman Saver.

Mark McPherson

Mark McPherson has an MA in Creative Writing and has been crafting content for over a decade. He writes for a range of niches, including the construction industry and insurance sector. Mark has worked internationally as a content writer and teacher.

All articles by Mark McPherson

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